“Surface Tension”, Peter Fox’s third solo exhibition with Front Room gallery features a series of new paintings in which he manifests a controlled self-reflexive state – the layered painting application itself defines form and gesture. In this new series Fox has reduced his palette to earth tones, creating a rich counterpoint – burnt siennas, dark browns and yellow ochres play off cool blues in Payne’s grey.
Fox’s layering process reflect his dedication to exploration of relational color constructs, mediated through formal systems which reference automatic drawing, abstract painting and process art. He is primarily preoccupied with the tension between the physical depth of the material surface and the illusion of depth. The tension between material and illusion is fundamental – his pictorial surfaces demand and defies narrative attachment with the same gesture.
The artworks in “Surface Tension” were created by utilizing self inflicted restricting parameters in the vain of automatic drawings. Fox for instance has developed a stylus to apply and manipulate paint – akin to a large paint pen which can be loaded with multiple colors at once. This tool is capable of producing within a single gesture a wide range of expressive forms like stripes, blends, and spills – its linear nature also highlights multiple links between painting and drawing. That said, the stylus has strict limitations – its crude, clumsy, and unpredictable nature altogether enhance a crucial element of chance in the painting process. Fox puts it best – he sees his creation as “sudden turn that opens onto a broad vista and always feels miraculous.”
Peter Fox: Surface Tension through March 18th
at Front Room Gallery
48 Hester Street, NY, NY 10002
Wed-Sun 1-6 PM and by appointment
Artist talk Tomorrow, Friday March 9 at 12 noon as part of Lower East Side Early Morning event for Armory week